A union boss who represents many of Brighton and Hove’s council workers had a blunt message for departing leader Warren Morgan tonight – Go now!
Councillor Morgan, who became leader of Brighton and Hove City Council almost three years ago, told his fellow Labour councillors this evening that was standing down.
But Mr Turner was unimpressed by the timetable that appeared to have been outlined, including the prospect of a new party leader being elected in about two months’ time – in time to be confirmed as the next leader of the council at the annual meeting in May.
He said that it was unacceptable to wait until the council’s annual meeting.
Mr Turner said: “If Warren is standing down, he should stand down now and allow an election to take place and a new leader to be in place at the earliest possible time.
”Eleven weeks is far too long and it leaves things wide open for opponents to take political pot-shots at the Labour group.”
Plans to transfer the Royal Pavilion and Museums staff into a trust to be merged with the Brighton Festival and Dome proved to be the straw that broke the camel’s back, he said.
The situation hadn’t been helped by the row over anti-semitism at the Labour conference last autumn when Councillor Morgan suggested that the party needed to tackle the issue among some members.
He accused Councillor Morgan of failing to engage sufficiently.
Mr Turner added: “It’s been a shambles. He fell asleep at the wheel.
”We have tried to build bridges but his door was never open.
”The party has changed locally and nationally and we have to adapt.”